A dream came true for Indore boy Naman Ojha on Friday as Indian team director Ravi Shastri confirmed his position in the test side for the third and final game against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
As soon as the news broke, celebrations broke out in the Ojha family as well as other among cricket enthusiasts in the state who have had to wait a long 22 years to see their own represent the country in the longer format of the game.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, the 32-year-old’s father Vinay Ojha and mother Vandana Ojha said, “Every one of us, including Naman, had been waiting for this day for a long time.”
Born on July 20, 1983 in Ujjain, Naman took a liking to the sport at an early age.
The first sign of his growing fondness for cricket was spotted in 1992, when the then Ratlam superintendent of police Pradeep Runwal first saw a spark of excellence in Naman during a camp.
“Later, in 1997, BCCI former secretary and Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association president Sanjay Jagdale picked him during the Bank of India summer camp conducted at Usha Raje Cricket ground (now Holkar Stadium). He (took him) under his patronage,” Vinay said.
His father recollects how Naman’s mother, a teacher by profession, wanted him to excel in studies, which caused some friction as he wanted the boy genius to follow his dreams.
Back in 2001, when Naman was pursuing BCom at Islamia Karimia Degree College, he had to take a tough decision - whether to sit the exams or play for the state Ranji team.
“At that time, I had asked him to go for cricket as he could appear for the exam next year. May be my suggestion helped him set his goal of life,” Ananya said.
His mother Vandana Ojha too has accepted her son’s inclinations. “I’m happy with what he chose to do in his life and achieved it to make us proud,” she said.